Pakkarathorn Thienchai
Pakkarathorn Thienchai

Six people sentenced for criticising Chon Buri governor over long funeral lineups

Breaking News December 29, 2017 17:11

By Preewadee Wichaiprasit
The Nation

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A Court in Chon Buri province on Friday sentenced two women and four men to suspended jail terms and fines in the verdict in a libel case launched by the Chon Buri governor over his hosting a funeral-flower-laying ceremony for the late King.

The accused were also found guilty of violating the Computer Act.

Because all six suspects confessed and had no prior convictions, the Court suspended the sentences to one year. 

The Court reduced jail terms from two months to one month for Wilai Sungsut, Wirut Sungsut, Papangkorn Lertkunanukul, Wirin Nompitakcharoen and Jessada Suthamma. Each was fined Bt4,000.

The jail term for the sixth suspect, Worapot Thai-aree, was reduced from 40 days to 20 days and the fine reduced from Bt2,666 to Bt1,333.

The Court ordered the six to write apologies on the platforms and media where they defamed the governor.

Governor Pakkarathorn Thienchai had been criticised over a funeral-flower-laying ceremony for the late King held in Chon Buri in late October. Ceremonies giving people the opportunity to for people to lay funeral flowers for King Bhumibol Adulyadej were held throughout the country while the official Royal Cremation was held in Bangkok.

Due to the large number of people wishing to participate in the ceremony in Chon Buri, many were forced to wait for more than seven hours.

Some Chon Buri people expressed their outrage on social media, including on Facebook.

The Court was told that they did not cease making libellous statements against the governor even after he had come forward to explain the situation. Therefore the governor decided to take the cases to Court. 

It has been reported that the police investigation found that a total of 63 people are suspected of posting the statements.

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